Zimbabweans urged to work together in fight against cancer

By ZBC Reporter
CALLS have been made for Zimbabwe to join forces and work together in the fight against cancer through regular screening at health facilities and making accessible awareness information as a way of fighting the disease which has killed many.
The First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan province, Senator Oliver Chidawo, World Health Organisation (WHO) representative, Dr Alex Gasasira, KidzCan Executive Director Daniel McKenzie, ministry of health and child care representatives and cancer survivors joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Cancer Day.
Other dignitaries from various organisations also attended the commemorations which are running under the theme, “I am and I will”.
Speaking during the commemorations, the head of the Radiotherapy Department at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Dr Ntokozo Ndlovu said cancer was the most deadly of all the other diseases but is curable and that early detection is crucial.
“There are over 200 different cases of cancer and it causes death worse than all the diseases we know combined and the major causes are lifestyle, infections and genetics while genetics contribute little towards cancer,” she said.
“In Zimbabwe 60 to 75 percent of cancers are caused by infections which may be due to lifestyle. The most common question asked is can we cure cancer in Zimbabwe and the answer is yes we can treat cancer in Zimbabwe then the other question is, why is it then a problem, it is because cancer is a very different and difficult disease but most of our patients come in late and we will not be able to treat it.
The major difficulties are the myths around the issue of treatment, we do not experiment when giving treatment and there really is need to make this information accessible to people that this process is safe and not an experiment. We all need to work together.”
Dr Gasasira commended the work being done by the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa towards the fight against cancer as he said Africa carries the worst burden for cervical cancer.
“One in five people is diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75 and Africa has the worst burden for cervical cancer. In many countries access to screening is minimum for women, children and the elderly but we are happy that we are working with the government to prevent cancer and care for affected,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is making great efforts to increase the coverage on awareness and it is my pleasure to congratulate you your excellency, Amai Mnangagwa for your efforts in fighting cancer.”
Amai Mnangagwa who is also Zimbabwe’s health ambassador pledged to continue advocating for cancer elimination while calling for people to come together and fight the deadly disease.
“Early detection of cancer saves lives, let us come together as a family, community, nation and as the world and scale up early detection as some cancers can be treated if detected early. It is your role to report early to the nearest health centre.
“I can and I will” is a befitting theme, for we all have a role to play in alleviating the burden of cancer on our society. This is the time to take action to protect ourselves starting by you as an individual, starting by us as a nation, as for me I will remain your advocate for cancer elimination, for “I can and I will” continue to call for improved cancer care,” said Amai Mnangagwa.